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Maitland FC coach David Walker is hoping for a repeat of last year as the Magpies hunt for back to back Women’s State Cup titles.
The NPL Women’s NNSW competition will take a break this weekend with all eight clubs turning their attention to the fifth edition of the Women’s State Cup at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.
Maitland will be hope to emulate their cup win from last year as they celebrated their maiden season in style. While they continue to battle an extension list of injuries and unavailability, the Magpies are looking forward to getting the chance to play after their round 14 match against New Lambton was called off due to wet weather.
“I’m hoping to repeat last year’s performance obviously,” Walker said.
“The squad and the club did very well to win the cup last year so we’re going in with the same ambition and we’re looking forward to it.”
Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins sees the cup weekend as an opportunity for the club’s reserve grade and under-17s players to gain some experience playing with senior players, with the Panthers top of the NPLW NNSW first grade table.
“It’s a really good opportunity for our reserve graders and 17s to play and get some experience,” Atkins said.
“With younger players coming through the ranks it’s always good to play with these senior players and I think they’ll thrive in that environment.”
It is a similar story for Broadmeadow Magic coach Jake Curley, with the weekend a chance for the club’s youth players to get some experience playing with first graders.
“The [Women’s] State Cup is an opportunity for us to give the younger players in our club a chance at playing senior football in preparation for next season,” Curley said.
“Our squad is made up of a mix of 17s and senior squad players and I think it gives the players a good opportunity to get a feel for senior football.”
Mid Coast coach Mick Grass is looking forward to his squad having the chance to spend an extended period of time together to bond and play some good football.
“Our players always [look forward to] the [Women’s] State Cup because it gives them an opportunity to spend a bit of extended time together,” Grass said.
“We do a lot of travelling from different areas to come together to play games and train but we don’t spend a lot of time together over an extended period, so this is an opportunity for them to get together and bond a bit off the field as well as on the field and have a bit of fun.”
Newcastle Olympic coach Paul Devitis said the best part of the Women’s State Cup was the opportunity for his squad to play against different teams from outside the league.
“I think [the Women’s State Cup] is a great initiative,” Devitis said.
“Playing teams we don’t usually come up against is probably the best part of the competition. To be able to play against Lochinvar and Kempsey and this [NNSWF] Indigenous team that they’ve made is phenomenal.
“It’s definitely going to be challenging but it’s exciting to verse those different opposition.”
Charlestown Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said the weekend was a good opportunity to challenge his squad and get a good number of players some game time.
“It’s definitely something that they’re not used to, so it’ll be a good experience for everyone involved,” Papaspiropoulos said.
“This year we can nominate 25 players in the squad so it gives us the chance to rotate girls and make sure everyone is getting minutes.”
This year’s Women’s State Cup will also see the first NNSWF Indigenous Women’s representative team competing in the competition. The squad consists of First Nations players and coaches from throughout northern NSW.
The 2022 tournament will feature a record number of 20 participating teams.
As well as the eight NPLW NNSW clubs in action the competition will also feature community clubs Nelson Bay FC, Dudley Redhead United SFC, Urunga Raiders FC, Lochinvar Rovers FC, Kempsey Saints FC, Raymond Terrace FC, Cooks Hill United FC, Garden Suburbs FC, University of Newcastle Women’s FC, Toronto Awaba JFC and Port Macquarie FC.
The group stage begins on Friday night, continuing into Saturday, with the finals to be played on Sunday.
2022 Women’s State Cup fixtures are available HERE
2022 Women’s State Cup draw
Warners Bay FC
Adamstown Rosebud JFC
Dudley Redhead United SFC
NNSWF Indigenous Women’s Team
Mid Coast FC
Cooks Hill United
New Lambton FC
Port Macquarie United
Toronto Awaba JFC
University of Newcastle Women’s